James Owen of Penrhos

and his descendants

Moving house & accidents

Danby twins (6) & Charles (6m) Ruth and Ian adopted Charles, when the twins were six (see photo at Trafalgar House in the summer of 1945 when Charles was aged 6 months) and soon afterwards they left Trafalgar House and moved to Bridge House, Culworth – no running water, slugs in the well and water drawn up by a pump! – where they lived for about a year. Before then, nanny Luthy had returned to Switzerland and Sally was so upset that Stella treated the twins to a trip to see her; they stayed about three months. They returned from Switzerland two days before their ninth birthday and went straight to Trelydan Hall, Montgomeryshire, the home of the writer and staunch believer in reincarnation, Joan Grant, and her second husband, the visionary, philosopher and author, Charles Beatty. They were there for a year, during the long hot summer and severe winter of 1947. Sally recalled that when her siblings were both ill and housebound, she went out as a passenger in a van that had a head-on collision with an American senator’s car being driven on the wrong side of the road. Sally’s head was split open and she was ferried to the hospital in the American’s limousine.

Ian had already moved to Heatherlea, Upper Haugh, Rawmarsh, near Rotherham, where he was soon joined by the rest of his family. Then, in January 1948, they decamped to Skiers Spring Lodge in Hoyland, near Barnsley. That summer the twins spent their tenth birthday with Charles, Ruth and Stella at Polzeath, on the North Cornwall coast, as Stella’s treat. Sally continued riding at Skiers Spring Lodge; the people in The Lodge had a pony and trap and Sally rode the pony. On 6 December 1949, when Sally was eleven, she was thrown over this pony’s head and the pony stamped on her head as it galloped off. The injury tore back her scalp and damaged the optic nerve. She spent weeks in intensive care, unconscious most of the time and unable to see when she was conscious. Her vision returned briefly just before Christmas and subsequently was restored permanently but she had to wear dark glasses and use eye-drops for months during which her eyesight was bad. She was advised not to ride again but she did.